Ethiopia has a long history of stability at least what it looked like outside of Ethiopia but since 2018 when Ethiopia had undergone a massive political transformation, nothing was the same. The country has entered a period of unprecedented political upheaval. The 2018 parliamentary vote that ended nearly 3 decades of the TPLF rule left the country in turmoil and endless chaos. The Tigray people had first rejected PM Abey Ahmed’s new Oromo-centered administration, opposed nationwide election, formed their own government and on the top of that claimed to be an independent state.
Now, 9 months after a coalition military invasion overran the whole Tigray region and drove TPLF warriors out of northern provinces, maintaining the security of the region became a way more complicated than Ethiopia could handle. TPLF fighters disappeared into the vast terrains of the Tigray hills and launched a gorilla war against the Ethiopian military. Since the invasion in November last year, nothing remained peaceful, many things were at stake among others the overall security of Tigray. The Ethiopian interim administration in Tigray was overshadowed by fear and intimidation from the Tigray fighters, for over 7 months since the aftermath of the war, the region was the center of violence and confrontation.
Even though it was hard to verify any sort of information from the region due to security reasons, a few international independent news agents had access to report the situation in the area. What happened in Tigray was a combination of human rights violations and massacre caused by both the Ethiopian government with the help of Eritrean forces and the defiant TPLF fighters. Now there’s a new look in the region. The TPLF are back in action, a few weeks ago, Tigray people’s liberation front dominated the international media headlines again following their historic recapture in the city of Mekelle where they had been expelled not more than 9 months ago. The siege was made possible by a couple of unconfirmed pieces, for one source, the Ethiopian government has announced that it left out of Tigray for the start of the farming season reasons, the government claimed that it could no longer hold the whole of Tigray together and to give people a safe space to grow their seasonal crop, leaving Tigray to themselves was a hard but a realistic option and to that end, they pulled out the entire military out of Tigray giving TPLF fighters a safe and smooth entry into the region. They paraded in action and marched through the streets of its cities in pride.
For another source, TPLF fighters claimed that the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from the Tigray was the result of its military power. For both ways, it’s still unclear how TPLF reclaimed its territories back but for what’s known, the region had never been free from problems. Pardon me for the long history of what happened in Tigray and a region you may not know much about, I think everyone regardless of nationality has a sense of how that started out to be a big problem in Ethiopia but now there’s a different story that I need to bombard you with. Now that you may know TPLF are ruling their land, they are slowly expanding to the neighboring Amhara border towns, disputed towns that Tigrains believe was taken away from them. They pushed forward into these towns without much pressure in the beginning but their expansion is now on hold as Amharas are deploying its troops along the border with Tigray. According to some digital media outlets, the government appealed to the other states to deploy troops to contain the TPLF advances. This means that the war in Tigray has a new look now.
This time, there’s no a foreign intervention but the war is the same. Tigray people were already experiencing devastating humanitarian catastrophes as most of the aid into the region was blocked by the warring factions. The UN has called for both sides to find ways to create a truce – – but we have no official agreement from both sides yet and the war is still on.
Ethiopia seems to be falling apart, it’s because this sense of hostilities among its own people is dragging the country into a civil war. The dam issue with Egypt and Sudan is another major international concern for the government now as the uncertainty surrounding filling in the dam for one of its final completion stages is overshadowed by the stakes of not finding mutual agreement among the trios. Both internal and external problems are mounting pressures on Ethiopia’s government. Many things into the air, high stakes and sectarian violences, the direction in which Ethiopia is gearing towards is contagious but we never know the end of this story. The show goes on again but I promise I will do my best to keep you updated about a country you may or may not know about it’s problems. It’s a cloudy chilly evening here in Jijiga as I enjoy my summer break before I depart for work again next week. Till then, stay safe and sound!